MA Conference for Women 2019 || Experience & Tips

Hey guys! There were roughly 12,000 attendees at the MA Conference for Women last week and I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of these attendees on behalf of my company! (I am an associate software engineer for those who may not know.)

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At the Reebok “It’s a Woman’s World” Booth in the Exhibition Hall

I took the train into Boston and was at the convention center all day long with booths to see, sessions to attend, and people to meet. When we arrived, we received attendee “swag bags” filled with snacks, a water bottle, the event guidebook notebook, and other miscellaneous items.


Tips on how to make the most of the event:

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luckily I was warned of these, i’m now queen of the event
  • Arrive early: by 7am to head into the line or else you’ll have to spend time outside in the cold waiting to get through security and this way you’ll be one of the first to grab breakfast (free) and hit the booths down in the exhibition hall
  • Skip the coat check–bring a warm enough but lighter jacket to carry or else you’ll have to be in line twice and there’s sooooo many coats in the coat check
  • Use the womens restroom: I know, like isn’t that obvious? They actually convert a bunch of the mens restrooms into womens restrooms for the event, but the permanent womens restrooms have a lot more stalls. I accidentally waited in line for one of the converted restrooms for a long time only to find there were only 3 usable stalls and the other half was urinals!

 

Overview of Events and Sessions I Attended:

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Opening Keynote Session

IMG_6331Featuring Simon Sinek, Amanda Southworth, Yara Shahidi, and others; we were welcomed to a day of reminders that we can kick ass!!!

  • Sinek focused on the infinite game: explaining how learning from our competitor and using what we can study from them could help us become better ourselves and get stronger (and vice versa).
  • Southworth told her story of mental health and how coding not only helped herself but enabled her to help others too.
  • Shahidi is asked a question and answers with how she was taught at an early age about financial independence and how to be smart about money; saving it, spending it, and donating it.

Exhibition Hall (ft. sponsor booths, small business marketplace, and roundtable discussions)

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  • So. Many. Things. Being. Given. Away.
  • And so many photo opportunities!
  • Essentially, I came home with (on top of the swag bag stuff) a T Shirt, schrunchie, button pin, mirror, mints and lip balm, crystal nail file, travel brush and sewing kit in one, pens, magazine, candy, and more!

Unplugged: Reclaiming Balance in a Connected World (POE)

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(from left) Tiffany Schlain, Mary Laura Philpott, and Stephanie Humphrey
    • This was an interesting panel session on unplugging from the social media world, turning 24/7 into 24/6.
    • Tiffany Schlain (filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, author) talks about a “tech sabbath” of sorts that her family has done for almost 10 years now where they unplug from their devices for one 24-hour period a week and focus on the present.
    • Mary Laura Philpott (author of I Miss You When I Blink) catches attention from the Type-As of the room, those who love lists and getting things done once they’re started. It’s her journey of accepting that our time is our time and it’s okay to take it back to do what we want.
    • Stephanie Humphrey (technology and lifestyle content creator) discusses how she tries to unplug even with a career that consists of being on social media. Setting time for planning in one period and then scheduling posts is a must.

The Likability Trap: Women, Leadership and the Double-Bind

IMG_6332Alicia Menendez, asked us a question: do you want to be likable or do you want to be successful? Her answer is to ALWAYS. CHOOSE. SUCCESS. People will always either like you or not like you for various reasons and it should not hold you back from reaching your goals.

  • Yvonne Garcia, Minda Harts, and Erica Keswin joined Menendez in discussing their own experiences of having to choose between being liked or being successful in their workplace and the feedback they have sometimes received from it.

Keynote Luncheon: Malala Yousafzai, Tara Westover, Megan Rapinoe

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All of the women involved in the keynotes, panel sessions, and other discussions have all done something to be recognized as leaders, mentors, or just those to look up to. During the keynote luncheon, we also were lucky to hear from Malala Yousafzai, Tara Westover, Megan Rapinoe, and others.

  • Yousafzai spoke of her journey that most of us have heard about (if you need a refresher) and how her father continued to push for her education when extremists who took over their town banned girls from school and how it has developed her into the strong woman she is today. She continues to fight for 12 years of education for girls in countries who are less able to receive the opportunity.
  • Westover joked about how her job is to be a professional narcissist, telling her story about how she was raised in a family that did not believe that the government, education, and other things were genuinely real (instead seen as a conspiracy). She eventually went on to being enrolled and educated at the age of 17 and then went on to get her PhD.
  • Rapinoe was her authentic self with Kara Swisher; it was highly entertaining to listen to them discuss important topics like how Rapinoe was fighting for equal pay among professional soccer players (ex. how the womens soccer team is not compensated the same as the mens soccer team), the upcoming election, and various other topics.

While leaving the convention center, I realized that I was feeling so empowered, a feeling that I had not felt in a while. It makes me want to continue to chase after it all.

I’m hoping to get the chance to continue attending The MA Conference for Women and other events like this! The 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women Technologists is also on my radar and I can’t wait to launch into this potential opportunity!

Plan with Me | De-Stress Series

Hey guys!

Your girl is here to help you destress on top of this hectic semester she’s been going through. I’ve always wanted to start making calmer and more productive videos so here’s my first take on it.

Planning advice:

  • Put your contact info in ASAP, if you ever lose your planner aka your life, wouldn’t you want someone to let you know they’ve found it?
  • Create designated “planning” time, like Sunday mornings to relax and prepare for the upcoming week.
  • Get a master list of all the events/exams/projects/etc that you have to take on. Or you can just gather all of your syllabuses together.
  • INVEST IN STICKERS. Or at least colored pens and markers. I swear they’ll make becoming productive more enjoyable. And I mean, the more you spend money on something, the more you’ll feel the need to get use out of it, right?

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Past planner-related video:

College Advice: Things YOU Need to Know

I’ve been planning on filming this video for such a long time and finally got around to it! Based on two years of being a college student; here is what I’ve learned and my advice to you:

These are the timestamps for what I mentioned and extra details:

0:22 Unassigned Assigned Seats
0:38 Save on Textbooks!!!
3:08 Getting Classes You WANT
4:42 Asking For Deadline Extensions
5:50 Class Attendance
6:25 Staying Organized

Textbook websites to check out:
http://www.abebooks.com
http://www.thiftbooks.com
http://www.chegg.com
http://www.amazon.com

Hope you learned something new today & here are THIINGS I FORGOT TO MENTION:
– Ratemyprofessor: Use this site to get a general idea of how your professor is, do not pay attention to love/hate, instead focus on constructive criticism or how the professor’s teaching style is.
– For textbooks: If the class is an integral part of your major, you might want to buy it instead of renting it so you can refer back to it when you need to. If it’s just a class you need for credits or something not directly related to your major, feel free to save more money by renting.

STRESSED OUT? – How to Get Back on Track

*Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap…* It was the sound I heard from 6PM to 2AM yesterday night and the night before while typing out all of my essays that were due today.

To anyone who does not want to procrastinate; here are some things I did that helped me stay in focus and get sh*t done:

  • Map out everything your need to do for each class so nothing is forgotten and you can physically see what assignments are left.
  • Thomas Frank’s “Study With Me” video; he uses the 25/5 pomodoro studying technique and there’s a timer at the bottom of the screen.
  • Give your phone to someone who can hold onto it until you are done working on assignments. If you’re worried about missing anything important, have them periodically check your notifications for you.
  • Go old school and make flashcards to study and memorize important terms and concepts. If you don’t like handwriting things or prefer portability, make them using Quizlet and then review them on your phone between classes.

When I said all of my essays; I meant seven of them. Five were reflection papers based on what we went over in class and two of them were longer works; a midterm and a final paper. Why did I have to write so many essays in a short period of time? Because I hate myself. Just kidding, I love myself so much that I let myself avoid responsibilities for a while. After this, I swear I’m not going to procrastinate again…so I tell myself.

Good luck on your studies! x

Ban.do VS Lilly Pulitzer Agendas (+ Pictures)

This year I finally decided to buy a medium-sized Ban.do planner! Since I haven’t seen anyone else do a comparison between the Lilly Pulitzer and Ban.do ones, I thought this would be helpful to share prices, sizes, what’s inside, and which one is for you.

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PRICE

I ordered the medium-sized Ban.do agenda (left) for $28 and if you order now, you can combine a 10% off code and free shipping together. The medium-sized Lilly Pulitzer agenda (right) I used was $22 last year, this year it is priced at $24.

In terms of size, their thickness is about the same (see pic). Ban.do comes in a small non-spiral agenda and medium and large spiral agendas. Lilly Pulitzer agendas come in small, medium, large, and jumbo. Ban.do’s small non-spiral is equivalent to Lilly Pulitzer’s medium-size agenda.

INSIDES for each section of comparison pictures, I’m going to put the Ban.do (BD) picture before the Lilly Pulitzer (LP) one

  • opening the planner | right off the bat, you can see how LP tends to have a resort/vacation-related theme whereas BD is a bit more minimalistic and playful with the “secret code”
  •  after the folder | BD has a place for you to put your name on your planner whereas LP doesn’t have a designated spot. The BD has 2 sheets of stickers and LP only has 1 in the one I have to show you but they now have 2 sheets this year. BD has a little letter and LP has a “wecome to PALM BEACH” part and a cute map of palm beach.

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  • yearly/overview calendar | BD & LP both have two-year overview calendars and a “dates to remember” type of setup, the difference between the two is that LP has a year-long monthly spread twice in the planner, in the front where there are 12 pages back of back and then each month before the weekly spreads (this may have been removed from the 2016-17 edition though) and the BD only has one of each month. 
  • special | LP has a section dedicated to travel planning and an address book, BD has neither one of these but their notes section(s) make up for it.
  • notes | If you use your planner to jot down notes and other random things a lot, the BD has about 5X the amount of pages dedicated to notes. BD has 2 pages of notes after every monthly overview (there are 17 months = 34 sheets/17 pages) and a section in the back with 18 more pages/9 sheets. LP has a section for notes in the front consisting of 10 pages/5 sheets.
  • monthly calendar | BD has literally color-blocked a few pages that correspond with their holidays list. They are both easy spreads to glance at.
  • weekly spread | BD is more bare-bones while LP has a patterned border and drawing that flows onto the page partially.
  • artwork | BD gets all-girl artists for each monthly spread while LP keeps their classic look each year, according to what I’ve heard so far. If you like things to stay the same, LP is for you, if you like “artsy” changes, BD is for you.

WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU?

If you’re ready for something fancier than a free school-supplied agenda but don’t have enough time to commit to decorating, the Lilly Pulitzer agenda is for you. Each page comes with a nice designed border and sometimes there are little cartoon picture drawings.

If you like planners like the Erin Condren life planner where you can design and decorate your agenda as something more than just for assignments, then the ban.do agenda is definitely for you! It doesn’t have lines so you can keep the minimalist look or create your own.

If you love the Kate Spade look but don’t want to spend as much, click this part of the sentence to see a post I wrote about the Sugar Paper Planner(s) available at target.

Let me know if this post helped you decide and any other thoughts you’d like to share!

 

Huge Book Outlet & Thriftbooks Haul!

IMG_5221Hey guys! This month I made my first book haul purchase 🙂 I usually just buy 1-2 books at a time from Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Target/etc. but BOOK OUTLET(.com) is my new go-to spot! If it weren’t for booktube, I would have never known this amazing site existed.

I went a little crazy and got eight books in total from both Book Outlet and Thriftbooks! Here is a YouTube Video where I do an unboxing and the second part is descriptions of the synopsises/books.